Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

DWP Becomes Expert in “Suicide Guidance.”

with 39 comments

DWP Now Experts in Suicidal Benefit Claimants. 

This is beyond foul: what kind of a benefits system have we now got?


Frontline staff at the Department for Work and Pensions have been given guidance on how to deal with suicidal benefit claimants, it has been reported.

Says the Independent.

The Sunday Herald newspaper says workers have been handed a six-point plan on how to deal with people denied benefits who appear to be suicidal.

Staff at call centres have been instructed to allow rejected claimants for Universal Credit to talk about their intention to kill themselves.

In fact the detailed story is worse than you could possibly imagine:

The guidance is meant to help staff dealing with unsuccessful applicants for Universal Credit who are threatening to self-harm or take their own life.

A manager is then meant to rush over to listen in to the call and workers – who insist they have had no formal training in the procedure – must “make some assessment on the degree of risk” by asking a series of questions.

One section of the six-point plan, titled “gather information”, demands that staff allow claimants to talk about their intention to commit suicide.

The call-centre workers, who earn between £15,000 and £17,000 a year, must “find out specifically what is planned, when it is planned for, and whether the customer has the means-to-hand”, according to the guidance seen by the Sunday Herald.

Staff are also warned in the plan that they may have “thoughts and feelings” about the situation afterwards and offered reassurance that “this is all part of the process of coping with the experience and is normal”.

Glasgow-based call-centre workers have accused the DWP of asking them to carry out the job of a psychologist or social worker.


The Independent continues,

A DWP spokesman did not deny that the guidance had been handed out, and said: “Our frontline Jobcentre staff work hard every day supporting people to find jobs and it is only right we provide a range of training and guidance to assist them in their work.”

The guidance may be a reaction to suggestions that welfare changes and decisions are increasingly being linked to suicides.

A damning report by MPs released in March of this year found that severe financial hardship caused by benefit cuts was driving people to kill themselves.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee said 40 people had taken their own lives since 2012 because of problems with welfare payments.

Disability campaign group Black Triangle later estimated that as many as 80 suicide cases were directly to benefit cuts.

“If it was a medical trial, it would have been abandoned long ago. So many have died as a direct result of the withdrawal of benefits, as confirmed by numerous coroner’s inquests,” John McArdle, co-founder of the group said at the time.

Enough is enough!

Can anybody imagine the scene: a Work Coach talking to somebody who wants to end it all?

A  manager dashing over…..

The Call Centre at the ready…

The very idea of the DWP acting as amateur psychologists – to deal with the problems that they  have created –  has gone beyond a joke.

It is an obscenity.

Iain Duncan Smith Resign Now!


39 Responses

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  1. We have had this before,and the DWP are up to old nasty tricks again.

    People are using government propaganda as an excuse to have a go at people out of work and the disabled,this is motivated through greed and jealously, fuels hate and and a lot worse,others have given this as the way forward.



    August 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

  2. Call centre staff are expected to wave a pink card to attract the attention of a manager who will come running over to assist every time a potential suicide victim comes on the telephone.

    I have asked on here many, many times, how much lower and how much more ludicrous are the antics at the DWP going to get? Is there any end to the depths of absurdity to come out of Whitehall?

    It is long overdue for IDS to be given the RED CARD!


    August 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm

  3. According tae a wee wummin oan thi Beeb Joabseekers in Dundee ur 50% mair likely tae be sanctioned than Joabseekers in Glesga! Whit’s that aw aboot? Nearly chocked oan ma purridge!

    McHaggis O' Thi McHaggis Clan

    August 26, 2015 at 6:36 am

  4. IDS at the wheel of his vintage car

    All right for some… 🙂

    Flat Tyre

    August 26, 2015 at 9:48 am

    • Wonder how many benefit sanctions it took to pay for that extravagance?…. 😉

      Mushy Peas on Toast

      August 26, 2015 at 9:53 am

  5. Atos: Suicide/Self-Harm and the 6 Point Plan.



    August 26, 2015 at 10:36 am

  6. More Daily Record.

    Andrew Coates

    August 26, 2015 at 11:18 am

    • There is one adviser I once seen who sanctions as many people as possible because of a desire for promotion.


      August 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

  7. Offered or forced.

    NHS to provide ‘motivational coaches’ in war on flab

    Up to five million people will be offered a nine month programme of ‘one-to-one’ health and fitness coaching on the NHS



    August 26, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    • I just read this and it’s appalling!! How do they know 8% of people in. Hove are “pre diabetic “? If the programme isn’t rolled out yet? And pre anything doesn’t mean the person actually has the disease or will develop it!
      Most people screened for disease won’t actually go on to develop it. It’s just creating worried well people and clogging up appointment so really sick people have to wait longer..
      Yes I’m sure diet is a problem but what do they expect when people often don’t have money to eat or buy healthy food or have no gas or electric to cook food on because the meters Run out!
      I’ve posted before, I’m a working single mum with rheumatoid arthritis and recently diagnosed microcytic anemia. Apparently rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are more prone to it, but I’ve also looked at my diet and tried to improve it, which I’ve managed to do. I don’t have sky or virgin media, or credit cards or furniture on credit, after rent and council tax and bills I prioritise food. But I also know how lucky I am as well, if I was on JSA or sanctioned I’d be stuffed and lots of people are. And. The government would say that paying more benefits so people could buy food wouldn’t work because it’d get spent on booze and fags but that’s not true.
      If. 10% of money is spent on diabetes and it’ll bankrupt the NHS [doubtful) stop funding bankers bonus and give the NHS more! It all makes me sick (pardon the pun)

      kat rehman

      August 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      • And don’t get me wrong, if people want to screen for disease that’s fine and their decision and I respect that. More doctors and nurses should be in the system to deal with everyone who needs help..

        kat rehman

        August 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      • If charities or private firms are used to run these programmes will we have a repeat of the fiasco the “work ” programme is? How will the programme be run? How will people be assessed??
        I’m not a fan of screening programmes, having been bullied unmercifully most of my adult life because I refuse to have smear testing and more recently mammography. Heart disease and stroke kills more women than cervical cancer, a woman’s risk of cc is 1 in 134 yet we are bullied and hassled unmercifully. GPs are offered incentives payment to get 80@%of women to submit yet women aren’t told that. Conflict of interest or what? Will the new diabetes thing be run this way? Will fat people get the hard sell??

        kat rehman

        August 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm

  8. Although regular readers of this page will know about Jobcentre sanctions targets etc, the vivid front page of the Daily Record newspaper today is at last getting the message across to the wider public – and that is welcome news!

    Striking stuff!!


    August 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    • Tony Cox, who has been campaigning against Dundee’s high sanction rate outside the Wellgate Jobcentre, has formed the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, which advises people where they can get emergency help.

      He said: “This is an area of endemic unemployment. We also have a lot of people with learning difficulties and low-level mental health issues. In our experience it’s the most vulnerable people who are most likely to be sanctioned.

      “What the DWP have got to recognise and improve upon is their system for identifying vulnerable clients.”

      Unemployment expert, Prof David Webster, said he did not think variations in the sanctioning rates between Jobcentres was down to differences in practices.

      However, he believes that staff working in the sector have to meet sanctions targets. That is disputed by the DWP.

      The Glasgow University academic said: “It’s become part of their normal staff appraisal system. Their work is reviewed periodically by their manager.

      “If they haven’t been imposing enough sanctions they’ve been told that they’ve got to improve their performance otherwise they will be put on what they call a ‘personal improvement plan’ – a prelude to potential disciplinary action and dismissal.”


      August 26, 2015 at 7:57 pm

  9. ADVICE WANTED. I have been waiting for an Esa assessment since March. Despite numerous phone calls and visits to the local assessment centre I am still no nearer my assessment. Yesterday I telephoned again and I spoke to ”Richard”. I was told that everytime they get the two week notification period to send for me, Maximus/Atos here in Ipswich knock it back a further 4 weeks. I am now looking towards April Before I get called. Is this normal. Thanks for any advice. jimbo181922@hushmail.com


    August 27, 2015 at 8:13 am

  10. SNP MP calls for immediate end to benefit sanctions in letter to IDS:



    August 27, 2015 at 8:49 am

  11. Tobanem

    August 27, 2015 at 8:56 am

    • I think we can see many more food banks will run out of food, the amount of people being laid off because of what we know, so more and more people won’t be able to afford buying food for food banks.


      August 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      • Yeah enigma how goes it in your food Bank? In a way I’m dreading the children’s return to school I work in next week. Without the free school meals, milk and fruit they get in term time some of them will be very thin and weak. As well as being bad for their health it also really impacts on behaviour and their ability to learn, holding them back even further. The uniform grant available to them is £29 per child each YEAR!! This is meant to cover everything!! Anyone knows you can barely get one pair of shoes for that! ‘ and we don’t have shoes in our spare clothes system…

        kat rehman

        August 27, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      • Kat the food bank in this town has plenty of food, we have never fun out of all foods, but then this is the only food bank in town – plenty supermarkets here which provide the food, or rather it is the general public who purchase many of the food which comes from the supermarkets.

        However I know the food bank will get very busy from next month what with UC starting here.

        Like you, I wouldn’t like to see what you see in schools these days, I can only imagine the reality.


        August 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    • Thanks for that PDF Doug, many people inc us have been waiting for this info. even though one needs to read it with caution, regarding the amount of people who have died as a result of their reforms.


      August 27, 2015 at 10:52 am

    • Enigma let’s just hope the food banks don’t run out. We have a few in our town, I’m also in unite the union and we’re encouraged to volunteer /support the foodbanks. Most weeks I drop off a couple of tins or some tea bags etc to the union office it’s 5 minutes from my house…

      kat rehman

      August 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      • Its good to hear you help others by giving food to those who need it.


        August 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    • Thanks Doug, have done post as story developed during the day.

      Andrew Coates

      August 27, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      • Well I can remember when I was on income support and the bank f…..d up and took a direct debit on the wrong day and then hit me with charges, yes I did get them all back but it wasn’t immediately as is promised and I starved for 5 days, this is years ago now and I fed my daughter and the cat and had no food myself for 5 days how ill I felt. This was even before foodbanks and I don’t have family to fall back on
        I swore then if ever circumstances changed I’d try to help others. It’s funny, I’ve been working over 5 years now and I still appreciate so much being able to afford my bread of choice ( Kingsmill) instead of value or economy. Funny how the little things matter most!

        kat rehman

        August 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    • “And we know that the DWP knows full well the possible effects of sanctions which leave the most vulnerable members of our society without money for food, or electricity or even for shelter”.

      “We know that because our sister newspaper the Sunday Herald reported that they are training call centre staff dealing with sanctions how to deal with suicide threats”.


      August 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm

  12. They are totally ignoring the law,its nothing new and they have been doing it for years.While this goes on if somebody has to claim benefits because they have been sacked by an employer who does the same,jobcentre plus are up in arms.


    Another conversation involved someone sent from ESA to JSA after an assessment,information is left off the report which would be detrimental to someones chances of being employed such as an operation and on going treatment,they appear to actively doing this,then it goes to mandatory reconsideration if there’s an appeal.this is to most likely to intercept any unsavory activities appearing before a tribunal.


    August 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

  13. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    August 27, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    • Come any reshuffle it’s a guarantee that IDS will not be moved. ALLEGEDLY all parties of every colour are getting shit scared of Mr Corbyn winning the Labour Leadership & eventually an Election. Well bloody good luck to him


      August 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

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